Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana will witness the launch of the first two satellites in the final batch of 12 Galileo first Generation Satellites by a Soyuz launcher on December 2nd, and the go-ahead has been okayed by the European Space Agency (ESA).
The next pair launching was okayed after the Launch readiness review on Friday confirmed that the satellites, supporting ground installations, the operational facilities & the teams were found to be in total ready conditioning for the launch.
The satellites numbered 27 & 28 as already 26 of them have been launched earlier; these satellites to be launched had arrived in French Guiana in early October, leading to a hectic schedule of dispenser fit checks & filling of Hydrazine fuel to be used by the satellites during their 12-year tenure in outer space.
The Launch Readiness Review has confirmed categorically that provided no external factors hinder their progress till the Night of launch on December 1-2; the satellites are ready for the said lift-off as stated by ESA’s Galileo Satellite Manager Mr Bastiaan Willemse on Monday.
ESA will give the final countdown okay signal once a final review of all facilities, the site, global launch tracking, supporting ground infrastructure latest status is up to the launching mark.
The launch on December 2nd will be the eleventh Galileo Satellite launching in the last ten years; the European Space Agency (ESA) has two more launches planned over the next year period, which will help the Galileo Satellites to reach their optimum Operational capacity.
The Space agency engineering team affixed the satellites to the dispenser on which the ride to orbit will be done. Also, the launch fairing was closed to protect the satellites during their ascent to orbit in the first part.
The Galileo satellites is a total constellation of navigational satellites catering to more than 2 billion consumers on a global level.
The present system consists of 26 satellites already launched earlier; these two will so be launched in the Medium Earth Orbit ( MEO) planes at 23,222 km above the earth, inclined to 56 degrees from the equator.
ESA has added that Galileo is also providing a Global Search & Rescue (SAR) function which will be based on the already operational Cospas-Sarsat System.
Hence all satellites are affixed with transponders to transfer distress signals from the user Transmitters to the regional coordination cents leading to the initiation of rescue operations.